Readers’ Place

June Summer Reads

Whether you’re going away or staycationing, here are 4 titles that provide a change of scenery and pace.

Dig PrestonThe dig by John Preston, 2016 FIC Preston
In 1939, a farmer’s widow in Suffolk, England, discovers she has buried treasure on her farm. Based on the true story of the Sutton Hoo archeological dig, Preston weaves a story of rivalries and the past’s hold on the present.



Blue between sky and waterThe blue between sky and water by Susan Abulhawa, 2015 FIC Abulhawa
Abulhawa traces a family’s fragile existence in a Gazan refugee camp through profiles of its strong women, starting with Nazmiyeh, arriving there soon after her marriage in 1948, following the Israeli attack on Beit Daras. The family gradually disperses, with her brother, Mamdouh, moving to North Carolina. His granddaughter, Nur, is raised with only snippets of information about her Palestinian heritage, until she travels to Gaza, where she meets her long-unknown cousins and aunts.


This was not the planThis was not the plan by Cristina Alger, 2016 FIC Alger
An overwork-and-alcohol-induced lapse in judgment at a company cocktail party leaves Charlie an unemployed attorney. This was not the life plan Charlie had in mind: no income, parenting a quirky young son, and facing his own estranged father.



Miracle on Monhegan IslandThe miracle on Monhegan Island  by Elizabeth Kelly, 2016 FIC Kelly
Dog-napped Ned, an intelligent, highly observant and intuitive three-year-old shih tzu, narrates the story of  the four men of the Monhegan family as they struggle to reconcile their past resentments, ongoing personality differences, and inner demons, amid small-town gossip,  while housed in the dilapidated Maine family home.


Ina Rimpau

Posted by Barbara | 7 Jun 2016 | Comments Off on June Summer Reads

2016 Pulitzer Prize Winners in Literature

The Pulitzer prizes for literature have been recently announced. The following prizewinning  titles are available, or will be shortly, at Maplewood Memorial Library.

Barbarian DaysBarbarian days: a surfing life  by William Finnegan, 2014. BIOG Finnegan
Arriving on Oahu from California at 13, in the mid-1960s, Finnegan discovered that Hawaiian public school students weren’t particularly welcoming to haoles; surfing brought him acceptance and contentment, and would remain central to his life for the next half century. In the late 1970s, he set out in pursuit of a perfect wave, and spent five years circumnavigating the globe with long stops in Polynesia, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, and South Africa. The social inequality he witnessed led him to journalism, but after his return to the U.S. and fatherhood, the waves still beckoned, even if that meant enduring a January swell off Long Island.

SympathizerThe sympathizer   by Viet Thanh Nguyen, 2015. FIC Nguyen This novel begins with its nameless protagonist, a highly placed young aide to a general in the South Vietnamese army, recalling how he finalized the details of escape before the fall of Saigon. But our hero is a double agent, a communist sympathizer who will continue to feed information to the North even after he makes the harrowing escape on the last plane out, and becomes part of the Vietnamese refugee community in Southern California. Breathtakingly cynical, the novel has its hilarious moments; the reader will especially enjoy Nguyen’s take on 1970s American life.  The Sympathizer will be the September selection for the Read Around the World book club.

Black FlagsBlack flags: the rise of ISIS by Joby Warrick, 2015. 956.9104 War
The American invasion of Iraq in 2003 catapulted Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to the head of a vast insurgency. Like-minded radicals saw him as a hero resisting the infidel occupiers and rallied to his cause. Their wave of brutal beheadings and suicide bombings continued for years until Jordanian intelligence provided the Americans with the crucial intelligence needed to eliminate Zarqawi in a 2006 airstrike. But his movement endured, first called al-Qaeda in Iraq, then renamed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, seeking refuge in unstable, ungoverned pockets on the Iraq-Syria border. As the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, ISIS seized its chance to pursue Zarqawi’s dream of a sweeping, ultra-conservative Islamic caliphate.

Compiled by Ina Rimpau



Posted by Barbara | 26 Apr 2016 | Comments Off on 2016 Pulitzer Prize Winners in Literature

Do you miss Downton Abbey?

Do not be distraught at the end of Downton Abbey! To fill the void, you can turn to books: books about the fictional Downton Abbey, histories of estates that were models for the series, and novels that, like the TV series, explore the intricacies of the British class system.

lady catherine


Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the real Downton Abbey  by Fiona, Countess of Carnarvon, 2013.         941.082 CAR



Below stairs


Below stairs: the classic kitchen maid’s memoir that inspired “Upstairs, downstairs” and “Downton Abbey”  by Margaret Powell, 2012. BIOG P8851



world of downton abbey


The world of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes, 2011. 791.457 Fel




Lady almina and the real downton abbey


Lady Almina and the real Downton Abbey: the lost legacy of Highclere Castle by Fiona, Countess of Carnarvon, 2011. 942.2 Car



Song of hartgrove hall


The song of Hartgrove Hall: a novel  by Natasha Solomons, 2015. FIC Solomons




fortune hunter


The fortune hunter by Daisy Goodwin, 2014. FIC Goodwin




American heiress


The American heiress by Daisy Goodwin, 2011. FIC Goo






Snobs  by Julian Fellowes, 2005. FIC Fellowes




Ina Rimpau


Posted by Barbara | 17 Mar 2016 | Comments Off on Do you miss Downton Abbey?

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